Subject: Nicki Minaj at Madame Tussauds
From: Alex Kemp
Date: Thursday, 20 August 2015 12:03:27 +0100
To: Oliver Kemp, Micaela Kemp, Liisa Kemp, Davin Kemp

Now, try not to get too excited, Oliver (and Davin), as this is a photograph of a waxwork of a female model, which makes it at least 2 degrees removed from the real thing (although that has not stopped several men behaving “inappropriately” (Madame Tussauds' words) with the waxwork):-

Wax work of Nicki Minaj
A waxwork of Nicki Minaj as featured at Madame Tussauds, Las Vegas museum, USA, since early August, 2015

The BBC only refers to her as a 'rapper', but Wikipedia informs us that:-

Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1982), better known by her stage name Nicki Minaj, is a Trinidadian-born American rapper, singer, songwriter and actress. Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago and raised in South Jamaica, Queens, New York, Minaj earned public attention after releasing three mixtapes between 2007–2009. She signed a recording contract with Young Money Entertainment in 2009.

Madame Tussauds states that 20 artists spent six months sculpting the waxwork, which is based on the “rapper's iconic pose in her Anaconda video - where she's posing in heels on her hands and knees”. The waxwork is currently in the attraction's music room, which is also home to a figure of Miley Cyrus on her “Wrecking Ball”. Splendid.

Doubtless Madame Tussauds are rubbing their hands with glee at all this extra publicity. They have made all the expected noises, including that the waxworks must be “treated respectfully”. I would suggest that men being photographed whilst pretending to have sex with the waxwork (which is one of the reported actions) is the precise respect that such a waxwork deserves.

Nicki Minaj is possibly even more pleased than the Museum owners, and has flooded her Instagram account with pictures of the waxwork - including some of the ruder photos.

It has occurred to me that Micky & Ollie may think that a woman using her sexual allure to promote herself is, somehow, something new. So, let's squash that one quickly by referring to the astonishing story of Josephine Baker, a remarkable American woman that took French citizenship in 1935:

Josephine Baker with a re-creation of her original costume

Josephine received the French military honour, the Croix de Guerre and was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by General Charles de Gaulle in acknowledgement of her support to the French Resistance during WW2. She was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, or to become a world-famous entertainer. She refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States, is noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, and in 1968 she was offered unofficial leadership in the movement in the United States by Coretta Scott King, following Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination (she turned that down).

And yet, and yet... the only thing that most folks know Josephine for is that she became famous for dancing naked, except for a dress made from 16 bananas, in 1925 at the Folies Bergère in Paris (YouTube).

Josephine Baker in her famous banana costume.